Ballot papers for the upcoming parliamentary elections was printed by local company, Novelty Printers & Publishers, for approximately MVR 2.6 million, reports Elections Commission (EC).
EC posted notice of tender for a party to print the ballot papers two times. The first notice, posted on March 2 was cancelled due to insufficient number of applicants and the commission posted a second notice on March 11.
Speaking during a press conference by EC this Sunday morning, President of EC, Ahmed Shareef said only two companies submitted estimates in response to the commission’s notice; M7 Print – the company which printed ballot papers for Presidential Elections 2018, and Novelty Printers & Publishers.
The contract was awarded to Novelty, which submitted the lowest estimate at MVR 2.6 million, said Shareef.
Shareef noted that Finance Regulation required Ministry of Finance to evaluate and make a decision on tenders valued above MVR 2.5 million.
He said the decision to award the contract to Novelty was therefore made by the Tender Board at Ministry of Finance.
“MVR 2.6 million was offer by company which submitted the lowest estimate. We submitted it to the Ministry of Finance and the decision was made by the Tender Board. It’s not the exact figure. Approximately MVR 2.6 million was spent,” said Shareef.
M7 Prints was awarded a MVR 3 million contract to print ballot papers during the Presidential Elections 2018.
BALLOT PAPERS IN BLACK & WHITE
Shareef reports the two companies which submitted tenders were awarded two options; either to print the ballots in color or to print the ballots in black and white.
He said the EC later decided to go with black and white ballots due to budgetary constraints.
“We offered two options. One option was color print. The other option was back and white. But given our budgetary constraints, we opted for black and white this time,” said Shareef.
Shareef said the ballot papers will have two security features as opposed to the three security features used on ballot papers during the presidential election.
Novelty has printed 267,159 ballot papers for the parliamentary elections – which is scheduled for April 6.
264,442 Maldivian citizens have the right to vote in the elections.
EC reports it will announce the specific number of ballot papers printed for each constituency sometime later this Sunday.
386 candidates will contest for 87 seats at the Parliament on April 6. Voters will cast their ballots into 501 ballot boxes in Maldives and abroad.